He hasn’t played in the league in a couple of seasons. His last year in the NFL wasn’t Pro Bowl calibre. Meanwhile, Denver is a team that has had poor quarterback play for two years. It has an expense defense to try and maintain. The match couldn’t be more perfect.
The Denver Broncos and Colin Kaepernick
Yes, the Denver Broncos and Colin Kaepernick need each other. It’s the perfect fit. One team has been in search of an heir apparent to Peyton Manning, while the player has been looking for a simple shot to prove that he is still elite.
Denver missed the playoffs for the second straight year. With an offensive line that isn’t stellar, the Broncos require a mobile quarterback with a veteran presence and playoff experience. Denver’s defense is still elite, and so the sense of urgency is quite great. But, they don’t exactly have a ton of salary cap room.
Colin Kaepernick is a quarterback that went to the Super Bowl and a conference championship. He bumped Alex Smith out of town, and Smith just recently signed a lucrative deal. He wouldn’t command a hefty salary, just the respect and freedom to be himself and a chance to start.
Denver is one of the best managed teams in the league. It has a fan base that is rabid and widespread. Starved for a steady QB, despite being in a red state, you have to believe that most fans would be receptive – without costing the team too much sponsorship money or a dip in the ratings.
Plus, there’s John Elway. If the franchise’s most beloved QB gives Kaepernick a thumb’s up then BroncosNation will certainly follow. Elway was reportedly interested in acquiring Kaepernick a few years ago, so the respect and appreciation is certainly there. For Elway, a shrewd roster manipulator, he has to be thinking that Colin would come much cheaper than Kirk – and Colin has won more in the postseason!
But, would Kaepernick be too much of a distraction? Would he begin kneeling during the anthem all over again? My sense is no. He has taken the conversation about race to a new level and he remains a strong voice. He has to realize at this point that he doesn’t need to kneel to be heard. But you never know. If he did go ahead and kneel, it’s his prerogative and right.
Either way, if the Broncos are really serious about competing for a championship again, they need to draft a future QB in the spring and give Kaepernick a couple of years to get them back to the promised land.
Matthew Ross is a sports commentator and a radio host on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Follow him @MatthewWords.